THE ROLE OF ARBORETA a BOTANIC
GARDENS IN PRESENT DAY COMMUNITY
VOL.6. OCT. 19 57
COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
The following papers were presented in a Symposium on "The Role
of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens in Present Day Community Life" which was
held at the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, July 17, 1956. The
Symposium was a part of the annual meeting of the American Association
of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens.
The eighth and ninth papers included in this publication were
presented at the dedication of the Arboretum Administration Building and
Gatehouse on December 14-, 1956.
1. The Modern Arboretum
Dr. F. U. Went, Professor of Plant Physiology, California
Institute of Technology, Pasadena; President of the Cali-
fornia Arboretum Foundation, Inc.
2. Display in the Development of the Modern Arboretum.
Dr. R. J. Seibert, Director of Longwood Gardens, Kennett
3. Research and the Modern Arboretum.
Dr. W. S. Stewart, Director, Los Angeles State and County
U. The University Botanical Garden.
Dr. Mildred E. Mathias, Director of the University of
California Botanical Garden and Associate Professor of
Botany at Los Angeles.
5. The Private Botanic Garden.
Dr. Philip A. Munz, Director, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic
Garden, Claremont, California.
6. Community Parks and Arboreta or Botanic^ Gardens.
Mr. Walter J. Barrows, Superintendent of Parks, Uhittier,
7. The Role of the Arboretum in Community Beautification.
Dr. Samuel Ayres, Jr., Chairman, Horticultural Committee
of Los Angeles Beautiful, Trustee of California Arboretum
8. Dedication address: History of the California Arboretum
Foundation, Inc. Mr. Robert Casamajor, Trustee of the
California Arboretum Foundation, Inc.
9. Why We Have An Arboretum.
Mr. Millard Sheets, Director, Los Angeles County Art
THE MODERN ARBORETUM
F. W. Went
We can get the best perspective of a modern arboretum and its
organization and function by considering how arboreta and botanical
gardens came into being, evolved and changed through function.
Gardens developed as soon as man emerged from nomadism to an
agricultural existence. The first gardens were purely utilitarian,
where a few herbs, vegetables and fruit trees, were grown near the
dwelling. This can still be seen among the agriculturally primitive
peoples. The Arabs in the Sahara, living in oases, depend for food
almost exclusively on dates, but between the dates they have small
kitchen gardens with tomatoes, eggplant, squash, horse beans, chili
pepper, corn, all in small numbers, and a few fruit trees such as
fig, peach, apricot, lemon, pomegranate and grape, and as herbs mint,
absinthe, marijuana. Apart from the wild oleanders there are no
Not until a considerably higher level of economic development
has been reached, does the garden become less purely utilitarian,
and starts to contain ornamental and flowering plants.
With the collapse of the Roman Empire the pleasure gardens,
which were so highly developed in Rome, seem to have disappeared
completely. Since the transport system also was defunct, which made
exchange of herbs and medicines extremely difficult, the need for
the cultivation of medicinal plants in many localities became much
greater, and the monastery gardens grew into real collections of
medicinal plants. If the brother in charge of the garden was very
active, he increased the collection of herbs and vegetables, and he
may have slipped in a rose or other beautiful flower for the image of
the Holy Mother, or to be used in church ceremonies. Many of the
introductions into the monastery gardens came from Italy, brought by
greek grew in one bed; in the ' Herbularius ' there were sage, rue,
gladiolus and cumin; in the vegetable garden (Hortus) there were onions
and garlic, dill and beets, parsnips and cabbages." (Reed 1942, p. 116).
The Renaissance, which marked the beginning of so many in-
tellectual developments, also was the beginning of the Botanical gar-
den as we know it at present. It was a necessary adjunct to the
teaching at the Universities which were then just starting. Usually
there was one professor of Medicine, whose main task was to teach the
future physicians to know the drugs and their uses. For this reason
the first botanical gardens, such as the papal one in Rome, which
existed even in the 13th century, were really medicinal herb gardens,
where the professor took his students to teach them the names of the
herbs and their uses. The plants commonly encountered in these first
botanical gardens can be found in the so-called herbals, sort of text-
books of Botany, which prior to the invention of printing were present
as manuscripts in the libraries of Universities and monasteries.
The first printed herbals were exclusively catalogues of medici-
nal plants and their uses, and were very poor both as far as plant
descriptions and illustrations were concerned. It requires a* vivid
imagination to recognize most of the plants in these herbals. One
herbal, the Pseudo-Apuleius, was printed in 1472 by de Lignamine in
Rome. It was not an original work, but a reproduction of a fourth-
century manuscript, copied and modified over and over again until
little of the original information was left. Fortunately within the
following 20 years the mere possibility of purchasing a printed herbal
created a demand for a technically better product. This was fulfilled
by the Ortus Sanitatis, printed in 1434 in Mainz, and translated soon
after into German. The following 60 years saw more original herbals
being printed, and culminated in the magnificent herbal of Fuchs of 154.3.
The evolution of the herbals also reflected the growth of the
Botanical Garden. Many trends can be recognized:
1) The arrangement of the plants became more and more systematic,
with the Compositae, Umbellif erae, Labiatae, grasses, and other natural
families being planted together, reflecting the development of a system
of classification. J
2) The garden collection was no longer restricted to medicinal
and culinary herbs, but also included wild plants without economic
importance, reflecting the trend towards a general taxonomy.
3) Although the main focus of the botanical garden remained the
herb and annual garden, usually located in the center, trees and shrubs
became more and more a part of the garden, being planted around the sides.
This can still be seen in the oldest Botanical Garden now in existence,
the one in Padua, begun in 1515. This marks the beginning of the Arboretum.
4) More and more, exchange of plants between botanical gardens
in different countries occurred. Travelers were urged to bring plants
and seeds from far countries. In this way for instance Clusius, who
founded the Botanical Garden at the University of Leiden in 1594, gathered
there a very complete collection of bulbous plants, which led to the Dutch
bulb industry. He was in regular correspondence with 300 collectors all
over the world, who sent him new plants.
5) In northern climates in connection with the importation of
plants from lands with different weather, it became necessary to build
structures to protect subtropical plants from frost. Thus the orangery
or conservatory developed, in which oranges, olives, myrths and other
mediterranean plants could be kept alive over winter. Then, when sea
captains started to bring tropical plants with amazing flowers, such as
orchids, or sensitive plants, to their kings or patrons, greenhouses be-
came necessary, and were developed in the 17th and 18th centuries.
While in the 16th century a Botanical Garden still could con-
tain most of the plants known to botanists of those days, the rapid
development of botanical knowledge of plants from other parts of the
world, made it impossible to have an inventory of all plants in one
living garden. It is interesting to see how, for example, the collection
of plants in the Leiden Botanical Garden increased from 1000 in 1600 to
4.000 at the end of the century. In the 18th Century however its collec-
tions began to lag more and more. This was accelerated especially after
1735 when Linnaeus started to describe more and still more tropical plants.
The impossibility of a Botanical Garden containing a complete collection
of all known plants led to a shift in emphasis from living specimens to
dried herbarium sheets. The herbarium, which could hold a complete plant
inventory, now became the principal tool of the taxomonic botanist. At" 1 "
the same time a shift in botanical interests occurred.
Towards the end of the 17th Century Plant Anatomy, and in the 18th
Century, Plant Physiology, became branches of Botany, and thus the im-
portance of the Taxonomic Garden as the main tool in the teaching of
Botany also waned. In the beginning of the 18th Century, Boerhaave still
gave in his text book the following definition of Botany: "It is that
branch of science, through whose happy pursuit one learns with the least
difficulty the largest number of plants". Starting with the 17th Century
there were usually already two professors of medicine, one for clinical
medicine, the other for pharmacology, who taught also Botany and Chemis-
try. The latter would teach Botany during the summer semester. He
would take his class in the garden, often starting at 5 a.m., and, walk-
ing from plant to plant, named all the names he knew of each plant, with
its medicinal uses. This was all done in Latin, and thus students, like
Linnaeus, could travel from country to country whether he knew the local
language or not and attend the classes in Botany.
Instead of growing with the development of Botany, most European
University Botanical Gardens remained static, and lagged further and
further behind. Out of sheer inertia, they hung on as less and less im-
portant adjuncts to the Botany department, but students were seldom
seen in the gardens any more. In old University towns without parks,
they gradually degenerated into public parks, and nurses with per-
ambulators replaced the students.
This development explains why in the new world usually no
Botanical Garden was created when a Botany department was begun in
contrast with old world Botany departments. Today many examples
can be given of European Universities, where more than half of the
Botany Department funds go to the ineffective garden, with a small and
poor Botanical Laboratory maintained with the remainder of the budget.
The developments in the Leiden Botanical Gardens illustrate the
changes in botanical gardens which occurred with changes in methods of
teaching botany. As mentioned earlier, in the beginning there was only
one professor of medicine, but by 1681 a resolution was passed by the
trustees of Leiden University that "there shall be four medical pro-
fessors, which have to give instruction in Professio Anatomica, in
Praxim Medicam, in Artem Chemicam and in Artem Botanicam." The botani-
cal teaching was further specified: in summer the Institutio Botanica
is given, while in winter the students receive instruction in what we
would now call pharmacognosy and pharmacology. Hence even at that time
there already was a full professor of botany. (Veendorp and Baas Becking:
Hortus Lugduno-Batavorum) .
While originally the botanical garden was all the professor
needed for his teaching, botany developed rapidly to such an extent
that it would have been exceedingly expensive to have kept pace with
the botanical garden. About that time the garden started a growth by
itself, centered around the supervisor or "Hortulanus". It became more
of a show-place, or a collector's place. One botanic garden for instance
became famous for its Bromeliads, another for its Cacti and so on. The
botanic garden became the public showplace of the university and as such
the Hortulanus became so important and powerful that the professor of
botany was the Director in name, but was only allowed a small voice in
what was to be grown.
The twilight of the University Botanical Garden did not mean that
the Botanical Garden no longer had any legitimate functions in the 19th
and 20th Century society. Its functions, however, were taken over by
new institutions: the Experiment Station field plots, special plant
introduction gardens, experimental greenhouses, private gardens, and a
new type of super-garden, of which Kew, Buitenzorg, New York, Brooklyn
and St. Louis Botanical Gardens are the prototypes. They developed
without connection with a University, but were usually government
supported. They are not narrowly limited to taxonomic gardens, but
serve the public, Botany, and Horticulture equally. They combine: in-
formation to the government and public; education and training of gar-
deners and the public; demonstration of desirable plant materials; in-
troduction, testing and distribution of new plants; development of new
horticultural materials; they provide a center for horticultural in-
terests, supply facilities for testing of plants and they perform re-
search on plants in general. In addition to all these functions these
gardens are beautifully landscaped, and are an important link in the park
system of the city in which they are located.
These new Botanical Gardens I would like to call functional
Botanical Gardens. They perform a really important function in present-
day society, as their growth and support by the public testifies. There
are a number of smaller or fractional Botanical Gardens, which perform
only some of the functions mentioned above. But all the successful
ones grow and evolve together wiith the growth and development of Botany
and of Society.
A very instructive case history can be given for the Buitenzorg
(now Bogor) Botanical Garden in Java, Indonesia. This garden was
founded in 1817. For the next 30 years it was important in connection
with the development of knowledge of the flora of the Indo-Malaya
region. It became more and more the center for introduction of plants
from other parts of the tropics: Cinchona, Hevea and many other plants
were first brought into the Archipelago through the efforts of The
Gardens. With the appointment of M. Treub as director in 1880 the
development of the Buitenzorg Botanical Gardens became almost explosive.
It became the scientific center of the Dutch East Indies and the Mecca
for botanists all over the world because Treub organized the publication
of flora's of the areas of Buitenzorg. These included not only the
higher plants, but also mosses, ferns, myxomycetes, algae and other
plant groups. The Gardens organized phytopathological and other re-
search on cultivated plants. When a Department of Agriculture was
created in the Dutch East Indies in 1905, the organization of the
Buitenzorg Botanical Garden was taken over lock, stock and barrel.
With Treub »s retirement as Director of Agriculture in 1909 the purely
botanical and strictly scientific work of the Department was detached
and the garden was reconstituted exclusively as a Botanical Garden.
Unfortunately, with the removal of all applied work, the Gardens were
emasculated, and never again rose to the important stature they had when
they were complete and functional under Treub. In 1939 Baas Becking
instituted a major reorganization of the Buitenzorg Gardens, but due to
the war and the transfer of sovereignty to the Indonesian Government,
the hoped-for rejuvenation has not materialized.
We have seen that in the narrowest sense a botanical garden or
arboretum is a living collection of plants. However, as such it is
hardly necessary any longer from a purely botanical point of view.
Only for the study of palms, gingers, cacti, and certain other plants
which cannot be properly studied in the form of herbarium material
are such collections important, and thus the cactus collection of the
Huntington Botanical Gardens in California, or the palm collections at
the botanical gardens in Java are very significant.
The current expansion and growth of horticulture, floriculture,
and botany should be considered and should be reflected in the arboretum
or botanical garden. Although it may not be necessary to have all
aspects of this growth represented, because other institutions may have
taken over certain of these functions, yet the following points seem
to be entirely essential in an effective arboretum.
In our Southern California area especially, plant introduction
is of major importance. Until now, no systematic introduction of plant
materials from regions with comparable climates has been carried out
here, in contrast with the introduction of plants from all over the
world in the eastern United States and in the northern European countries
with their very different climate. There are still many, many spectacular
plants which should be introduced here and can be expected to become ex-
cellent materials for gardens or street plantings.
In connection with introductions, acclimatization has to be con-
sidered. We know remarkably little about what acclimatization of plants
actually means, but it remains a fact that plant materials, as introduced,
very often do poorly until they have been grown for one or several
generations in the new climate. This may be partly a question of selec-
tion of the best types from a population of plants which is introduced
as seed material. In this connection it should be mentioned that se-
lection and hybridization of the most desirable plants are important
functions of a modern arboretum.
By having complete records of the behavior of the plants from the
seed stage, and by testing the material under different conditions, an
effective study of the best cultural conditions is possible and will
lead to a better appreciation of where and how to grow these plants.
In this connection the plantings themselves will be demonstrations of
the possibilities of the new introductions under the new conditions.
The educational function of a modern arboretum is of prime im-
portance. This includes education of the gardening public. For in-
stance this is carried out very effectively at the Brooklyn Botanical
Garden. Education of maintenance gardeners, which particularly in
southern California have no place to get much information and train-
ing, is another important and essential function. These functions
are different from those of regular schools and colleges and are re-
lated more to edupation in a trade school.
With the remarkable growth in recent years of horticultural and
plant culture societies, an arboretum can also be a center of activity
and coordination of horticultural societies. Therefore at the Los
Angeles State and County Arboretum the different groups, such as the
herb society, the rose society, Begonia society, and others who are
interested in some of the plantings at the arboretum are welcomed.
It is hoped office space for administrative functions of these societies
can be offered.
Probably the most important function of a modern arboretum is
research, without which no future developments are possible. Without
research an arboretum or botanical garden is a static body but through
research it is possible to contribute to the further developments of
horticulture and other branches of botanical science. It is hoped that
not only much research will be carried out by the staff of the Los
Angeles State and County Arboretum, but also that it will be possible
to accommodate research workers from neighboring, or foreign institutions
whenever the facilities here will make them useful for their research.
Here the research on fire resistant plants, on turf grasses, and
other subjects are good examples of valuable research conducted by an
In conclusion it is seen how the Los Angeles State and County
Arboretum has already gone a long ways in the direction of a really
modern and functional arboretum and it is hoped that it will be able
to keep pace or actually lead in future developments in the fields of
botany and horticulture and also that it will be able to keep pace with
the rapid development of southern California.
DISPLAY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ARBORETUM
R. J. Seibert
If general public appeal for the institution be desired, there
should be added to that definition, "effectively displayed for the en-
joyment of the public".
Statistics tell us that there are 40,000,000 home gardeners in
the United States. All of them are interested in plants and how
effectively to use them with specific reference to their own homes.
Most of the balance of our 160,000,000 Americans consciously or un-
consciously enjoy seeing plant life if it puts on a good show.
Arboreta and botanic gardens are maintaining collections of
plants suitable for the area which they serve. In addition, they are
engaged in locating and testing an ever wider range of new plants for
suitability to their area.
The Arboretum may be likened in some respects to experimental
stations— what is the difference? Essentially, I should say that the
experiment station devotes its effort and research toward the im-
provement of varieties and culture of our economic plants, with demon-
stration being the keynote of public relations appeal.
The Arboretum or Botanic Garden is concerned with a much wider
range of plants including ornamental, potential economic research and
classic study plants as well as curiosities. In many cases, both
hardy and hot-house plants are grown for exhibit.
Here is the basic source of information concerning the plant king-
dom. Education is of paramount consideration and display the keynote for
The aesthetic value of plants always seems to me to be a high-
light of the arboretum and botanic garden and I've always been con-
cerned that this may not mean much to a visiting public afflicited with
"buck" fever, spelled "D-0-L-L-A-R." However, the facts that home gar-
dening is one of our leading American hobbies, the nursery industry has
boomed like never before, and gardening magazines have larger circulations
than ever, tell us that the aesthetic beauty of plants is very important.
New homes are being beautifully planted and old homes are being imprcved
through improved landscaping. Garden clubs are growing in size and
number, plant societies likewise, and even the men's garden clubs have
reached powerful status in this country.
All of these facts have taken ornamental plants out of the realm
of unessential and into the broad picture of our local and national
No longer can the arboretum or botanical garden feel aloof to the
public. We are in the public relations field just as surely as is the
national league baseball team, industry and show business.
Ask any visitor to an arboretum or garden what he most enjoyed
and he will tell you the display of this or that. Or that he was
disappointed by a particular display .
Much of our work and effort must sooner or later translate into
display if we are to continue to gain the appeal of the visitor and
the support of his voice.
RESEARCH AND THE MODERN ARBORETUM
William S. Stewart
Scientific research centers around the word "new". It results
in new knowledge, not lore, but established reproducible data or facts.
Research consists of the formulation of new hypotheses and then test-
ing the validity of these by experiments. It consists of producing new
ideas whether they are new practices or descriptions of new plants.
Research is the systematic exploration into new realms of thought.
The present day is truly "The Age of Research" as the value of
research is being recognized by agriculturists, industrialists, and
civic leaders alike. According to the National Science Foundation
Director Raymond Ewell, the United States as a whole has earned back
$2,000 to $5,000 for every $100 spent for research and development in
the past 25 years. It is no wonder that scientific research has become
an industry in itself and perhaps is the key industry. In agriculture
it was research that led directly to the development and use of herbi-
cides and agricultural chemicals, now a $4-00 million dollar a year
business. Also, according to Dr. Ewell: "Industry executives who once
minimized outlays for science because they were hard to justify to
stockholders, now play up research budgets as a powerful magnet for new
capital. Reason: securities analysts and bankers have come to regard
a company's research program as one of the most significant yardsticks
of its future growth and ability to keep up with — or outdistance —
competition". In view of the recognition of the value of research it
is of little surprise that research along with education constitutes the
two major objectives of the modern arboretum.
Two kinds of research are recognized, basic and applied. Basic
research is non-programmed research. It is research which is not
necessarily directed toward a practical objective but arises from in-
tellectual curiosity. It is well known, however, that frequently basic
research leads to important and valuable practical applications. In
contrast to basic research, applied research is directed toward a practi-
cal ^application. "Development" or extension of new ideas is a phase of
applied research. Applied research, as well as basic, can be discourag-
ing unless the researcher is persistant and patient. The development
research program of the du Pont 6hemical 6ompany operates on a budget of
$70 million dollars per year. In their applied chemical department they
find that about one-third of their studies are outright failures; one-
half are successful in the laboratory but in practise prove impractical
and that less than 10% go to the manufacturing division for development,
and of these only a small fraction of these go into production. It is
apparent that persistence and patience are necessary in research.
The educational program in an arboretum or botanical garden con-
veys, by teaching, the existing knowledge and the new knowledge estab-
lished by the research program. Research is recognition, and in a
sense, creation of the new knowledge.
The research program for an arboreta or botanic garden should be
balanced between basic and applied research. It is important to have
basic research in order to add fruit to our tree of knowledge. It is
equally important that in public supported institutions some research
be directed toward the solution of community problems or toward making
practical contributions to the community life. If possible, an ideal
division of the research budget would be 50% for basic studies and 50$
for applied. Industry seldom attains this proportion; generally only 5$
to 10$ of the research budget is alloted to basic research. Universities
on the other hand may devote 100$ of their research program to basic re-
search. At this Arboretum basic research is now in progress on effects
of air pollutants on plant growth, translocation of plant hormones, and
the power of movement of plants . Applied studies here are directed
toward plant breeding, herbicides, garden practices, fertilization, and
applications of plant hormones to rooting cuttings.
An ideal research project is one which requires basic research to
obtain a practical solution. Examples of such projects here are: the
fire-resistant plant study; descriptions of new species, and, intro-
ductions of new plants for southern California.
Dr. Irving Langmuir, the Nobel prize winner has pointed out that
"Only a small part of scientific progress has resulted from a planned
search for specific objectives. A much more important part has been
made possible by the freedom of the scientist to follow his own curiosity
in search of truth".
In conclusion it may be noted that there is no monopoly on new
ideas and that research, in the ultimate, resolves itself to an in-
dividual who conceives the new idea and who has the activity, interest,
and curiosity, to try out the idea.
In closing these remarks two quotations by Louis Pasteur are
appropriate. These are:
''Without theory, practice is but routine borne of habit.
Theory alone can bring forth the spirit of invention."
"Nothing is more agreeable to a man who has made science
his carreer than to increase the number of discoveries
but his cup of joy is full when the result of his ob-
servations is put to immediate practical use".
THE UNIVERSITY BOTANICAL GARDEN
Mildred E. Mathias
The university botanical garden, like others we have heard dis-
cussed, is a collection of living plants maintained for the "advancement
and diffusion of botanical knowledge." It has a long history and we have
been told how gardens were used for teaching of medicine as early as the
12th century. Just sixteen years after the founding of the garden at
Padua in 1545 it was being used for teaching demonstrations with living
plants. Most universities have supported a botanical garden at some
time in their history but often these have given way to "progress"- the
land has been needed for more buildings for more and more students who
have learned less and less about living plants. There are gardens main-
tained by universities from California to Harvard, from Oxford and Utrecht
to Tokyo. These gardens vary considerably in size and activity. A sur-
vey of a dozen private and public university gardens in this country re-
veals a variation in size from twelve to 1200 acres, in number of species
and varieties from 700 to 8000, and operating budgets ranging from ?2400
annually to £90,000. The staff varies in number from one to 25; in all
but two of the gardens it is less than 20. Only three gardens have dis-
play greenhouses. It is interesting to compare these figures for twelve
university gardens with the figures for twelve gardens which are not
directly connected with universities. Some are supported by taxes, others
are privately endowed. Some have university connections but their pri-
mary purpose is display of plants. These twelve gardens, selected at
random, range in size from four and one-half to 1700 acres, in number of
species and varieties from 700 to 12,000, and report budgets from $15,000
to --400,000 annually. The staff varies from seven to 150; in all but three
of the gardens it is over twenty. Six of the gardens maintain display
greenhouses. We see that the university garden is in the same size range
as the non-university garden with respect to acreage and number of species
and varieties. On the surface it would appear to operate with a signifi-
cantly smaller staff and a lower budget. However, the university garden,
in contrast with the non-university garden, often has the services of a
number of specialists on the teaching staff and is associated with a
reference library and herbarium. These costs are not listed as budget
items for the garden. These figures do reflect the cost of placing the
primary emphasis on the proper display of plants. The creation of a park
effect is expensive.
The primary function of a university botanical garden is teaching.
It should be under the direct supervision of the department of botany
with advice and consultation with the department of horticulture. The
garden serves as a laboratory for students of various disciplines with
its display of the diversity of the plant world, both as to kinds of
plants and to plant associations. Teaching is its most important function
and a garden is an essential for the needs of the department of botany.
The beginning student sees here a display of the plant kingdom from the
algae floating in the pond to the flowering plants; he becomes acquainted
with plant associations ranging from the xerophytes in the dry areas to
the common mesophytic plants along the stream; he sees groups of succulents,
ferns, conifers, plants for shade and plants for sun; he becomes familiar
with these different kinds of plants and their interrelations; he studies
the plants of economic importance - lumber trees, fiber plants, spice and
perfume plants. The garden is not only a place for class and individual
study but a source of plant materials to be brought into the laboratory
for illustration and experiment. Continuing effort must be made to
maintain, to increase, and to display more effectively the diversity of
plants in order to improve the teaching function of the garden. The
instruction of the college students will promote an awareness of plants
by the future leaders of the community.
A second function of the university botanical garden, and in part
associated with the teaching function, is to provide plants for research
primarily in the many fields of botany and horticulture. It is a source
of materials for investigations in plant anatomy; it is an area for ex-
perimental testing of chemicals for weed control, disease and insect con-
trol, and plant nutrition. The garden is a testing ground under recorded
conditions for new plant materials.
ity garden must also perform a public service. If it dis-
plays a wide variety of well grown, correctly labelled plants it is a
valuable asset to the university and to the surrounding community. The
display must be attractive; the roads and paths must be maintained. The
esthetic appeal of the garden for the general public is important in
the promotion of good will toward the university. It is a park for all
students, an oasis in the middle of a busy campus. It is a place for
nature walks for youth groups, adult education classes and garden clubs.
The art student uses it as a site for sketching and painting, a source
for design. The theater arts student employs it as a setting for his
movie studies. The zoologist find it an animal refuge in the middle of
an urban environment. The teachers in the neighboring schools use it for
their class excursions. The local nurseryman sees new material which he
can employ in his designs. Government agencies, ranging from the customs
service to the public health service, find it a source of material for
verification of identifications or for new drug plants. The garden is
visited daily by many individuals who come to learn and also to enjoy the
peaceful surroundings. It is focal point for plant information for the
Traditionally the botanical garden has been an area set aside as
unique from the rest of the university campus. Often it is too far re-
moved from the main campus to fulfill its teaching function. The univer-
sity is a center of learning and we should make every effort to utilize
the whole campus as a botanical garden. We should encourage the use of
a wide variety of plants in the general landscaping. We should endeavor
to label this material in an attractive and informative manner. In this
way we can hope to educate many more than those who accidentally wander
into our fenced areas or register for our botany courses. We may find
this an additional service of the university botanical garden - an ex-
tension of its activities to include the whole campus and to make the
botanical garden a more integral part of campus life.
THE PRIVATE BOTANIC GARDEN
Philip A. Munz
As one runs through a list of the botanic gardens of the United
States and Canada he is impressed by the fact that relatively few are
really private, in the sense that they receive none of their income from
public sources. Some, like the Arnold Arboretum, New York Botanical
Garden, and the Strybing Arboretum, operate on land really owned by cities
and avoid taxes on the land. They and others may receive a considerable
part of their annual income from park funds of their various municipalities,
thus permitting the income from actual endowment to be used for more
strictly botanical and research projects and less definitely for display.
So one finds every conceivable arrangement between institutions that have
begun on a strictly private basis, either as property of a family or on
endowment, and more or less publicly supported ones like parks, colleges,
universities and the like. But few have remained entirely privately
supported; for examples in our own neighborhood, the Huntington Botanical
Garden, the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, and the Rancho Santa Ana
Botanic Garden. Yet so prevalent is the idea of tax-support that we
continually bump into it at the Rancho Santa Ana Garden. We have, for
example, two or three doors opening to the outside of our main building
other than our general entrance and bearing "No Admission" signs, since
they enter rooms used by graduate students or for research, and the
general public need not go into them. Not long ago a couple of the
fellows heard some men outside their door say, "No admission! Well, I
guess we support this place with our tax-money and can go where we want,"
and the door was burst open to reveal the two students working within.
Well, what about privately endowed institutions? Have they any
advantages? Are they at a disadvantage? Does their function possibly
differ from that of publicly supported institutions? It seems to me that
the fact that so many gardens that have begun on private endowment have
found it desirable to go over in part, or in some places almost completely,
to tax-support answers part of our question. The decreasing income-rate
from endowments over the past decades and the increasing rate in property-
tax and general expense, both mean that an endowment of a given size
cannot accomplish now what it did a generation or more ago. As to function
I cannot see any general distinction between botanic gardens supported
in one way or another. To me it is not so much a matter of where the in-
come comes from as how it should be most usefully spent. No institution
that amounts to anything, i.e., no institution that has a live ambitious
program, has all the money that it feels it could use wisely and to good
advantage, no matter whether that money comes from governmental or pri-
vate sources or both. I therefore believe that the important thing for
any botanical garden or arboretum to do, is to select an area in which
to operate, and by area I do not mean a geographical site. In other
words, with the large amount of work to be done on plants and with the
more or less circumscribed income that almost every institution has, it
is highly important to determine what kinds of plants are to be grown,
how they are to be used after they are growing, what educational program
is to be maintained, what type or types of research are to be undertaken,
what kind of library and herbarium are to be built up and maintained.
No institution I believe can be world-wide in scope, unless possibly
some time our national government establishes and resources such a one.
We have in fairly close proximity in southern California five
institutions that begin to illustrate something of what I mean; two
are largely tax-supported, three are privately endowed. There is some
duplication of effort, but really relatively little. Each one can do
a distinctive job for the people of California and beyond, and each one
is to a large extent doing so. Relations between these institutions are
entirely cordial and cooperative. Let us examine the situation briefly.
Two of these gardens are concerned with native plants of California, namely
the Santa Barbara and the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens. The former
is located near the sea, where with its cooler summers it can more easily
maintain coastal plants than can the latter at Claremont, where, however,
some of the desert and interior species grow better than at Santa Barbara.
The two are far enough apart so that they serve different local communities.
Both happen to be endowed institutions, both have some affiliation with
college or university neighbors and serve and are served by them. The
other three institutions work more with exotic plants; the tax-supported
UCLA garden near the coast has relatively less frost and cooler summers;
the endowed Huntington Garden at San Marino has affiliation with various
societies like the Camellia Society and specializes in that area as \ well
fas -in succulents and .other groups. The tax-supported State and County
Arboretum in Arcadia also has affiliation with groups like the Herb Society
and is receiving private as well as public funds. It has been introducing
many novelties from South Africa, Australia, and other regions. It has
also some interesting historical buildings that will serve to attract and
educate the public. Here we have five gardens, then, some publicly, some
privately supported, but doing quite different pieces of work. At Clare-
mont (in cooperation with Pomona College) is being built up the strongest
herbarium of California and west American plants south of Stanford Univer-
sity and an outstanding library in botany and horticulture. In affiliation
with the Claremont Graduate School work is offered for the master's and
doctoral degrees. At UCLA a very strong graduate program is under way.
At both places graduate students are available for service in the botani-
cal gardens and receive some of their training in botany through such
service. In other words, in many ways these five institutions are doing
different things and I cannot see that the line of demarcation depends
particularly on whether their income is from private or public sources.
I do believe, however, that there is one advantage that the pri-
vately endowed institution has over the tax-supported one. It can carry
through its operations with less red tape. It seems inevitable that
publicly maintained institutions must have certain formalities in pro-
cedure that are time-consuming and often have a certain disadvantage.
Take the simple matter of book orders. A rare-book catalogue comes to
us in the morning mail. We decide at once whether we want certain items
or not and get out an air-mail order, or telephone to New York, or cable
to London that same day. In many large institutions which have more for-
mal ways, such orders have to go through a librarian, often through a
library committee and other channels; and days or weeks are lost. Mean-
time the books are sold. This is a minor matter, but it illustrates
what I mean. In some cases, perhaps, a similar situation carried over
into larger matters. It is my general feeling that a private institution
can sometimes carry on research in more basic, less immediately practical
fields than may be the case in publicly supported institutions. Perhaps
this is not so true as it used to be. At any rate, to advance knowledge
and education, we should avail ourselves of the means obtainable, whether
from private or public sources. In our present tendency towards sociali-
zation private funds perhaps cannot do as much as they once did. Yet
even recently we have seen the establishment for the public of a botani-
cal garden in Pennsylvania which had been building for many years as a
private concern. Now it comes to the front with means away beyond those
of any other botanic garden in America, private or public, and yet its
resources are from a single family, showing that there are still some
private fortunes in America.
Perhaps in the few moments I have left I may be pardoned for di-
gressing and putting on record a few comments that are not part of the
topic assigned me, but none the less pertinent in such a symposium as
that of today:
(1) Scientific materials and records . So often when a new botani-
cal garden is established no careful record is kept of the sources of
seeds or plants used, or oftentimes these come from the trade rather than
from the wild. It has been increasingly impressed on me in recent years
that it is important to have the plants that illustrate a species really
be that species and not some horticultural form or hybrid derivative of
it. In other words, it is important if possible to begin with scienti-
fically accurate materials and to maintain careful office-records about
them. Moreover, species vary geographically in nature; it is important
to know the exact source of any such plant material.
So frequently when seeds are obtained from a botanical garden and
grown, they prove not to be the species whose name they bear. In one way
this is humiliating; in another it is not surprising. In many gardens
it is desirable to have perennial or annual herbs in small plots in
synoptic series, one related species after another in close proximity. As
they reseed or as perennials spread, they get out of their own bed and
may take over their neighbor's but their labels do not shift with them.
Several years ago we moved the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
from Orange County to Claremont. Our older plantings had been accumulated
by many years of effort and expense, so we tried so far as possible to
salvage what we could. He had for example collections of many species
and varieties of Ceanothus and gathered seeds from plants of known origin
for propagation at our new site. It was perhaps not surprising, but none
the less disquieting, to find that much of this material collected in the
old garden was hybrid and our new seedlings did not come true. So, it is
only with relatively long-lived individuals like trees or with species
not planted near close relatives, that much confidence can be had in
botanical garden products unless special care has been taken by remoteness
of planting, self -hybridizing, etc. We have always said that one of the
functions of a botanic garden is to preserve species becoming extinct in
nature. Such preservation may thus become highly problematical.
(2) Research . I do not believe that it does harm to emphasize
again that the accumulation of a large series of plant specimens growing
in a garden gives opportunity to learn and know something about them and
to put this new information on record. Living plants enable certain
types of research on their taxonomy and botany not otherwise possible.
To bring together and maintain such living collections at great expense
does not afford the greatest yield from the investment, if the plants
are only looked at and admired. The botanical garden should also face
the desirability of using them for real investigations.
(3) Genetics and plant breeding . In looking over literature deal-
ing with botanical gardens I am interested to see the fact emphasized that
only the finest and most beautiful species or forms should be grown. I
can sympathize but not agree with this point of view. Monographic work
involves both showy and less conspicuous species. One of the great
contributions that can be made by botanic gardens and arboreta is in the
field of genetics and plant breeding. Desirable genes are not confined
to showy species. Let me illustrate by a simple example. At the Rancho
Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Dr. Lenz has been doing some very successful
work with breeding irises native to the Pacific Coast. He has used
particularly Iris innominata . a species with very handsome flowers but
weak peduncles that often flop and leave the flowers down in the foliage
where they are not very evident. From the southern Sierra Nevada comes
a not especially beautiful Iris Munzii which has strong erect peduncles
that lift its flowers high above the foliage. Although not beautiful,
it makes a good parent and transfers this erect flower-stem to its off-
spring with I. innominata . Another example: some years ago one of the
great institutions on the Atlantic Coast wanted to carry on some breeding
work with a group of woody plants that take several years to bring to
flowering. They had gotten together several collections for this work.
Their taxonomist looked into the matter and learned that these were all
from one source and the whole breeding program had to be postponed until
other lots could be added. It is therefore important for an institution
to build up and maintain a gene bank in a plant group if breeding is to
be done. Often this means hanging on to forms that may have gone out of
fashion and been generally discarded. In Cymbidium and Iris, for example,
change in fashion has almost eliminated certain species and primary hybrids
from American collections, yet they may be important for new breeding work
and are now difficult to come by because of world conditions.
I would like to close then with the general remark that there is
so much to be learned about plants, and from so many angles, that any
botanical garden or arboretum can be of use to its community and to the
world. If its resources are limited let it fit its program to those
resources. But I feel very strongly that any good collection of plants
should be more than a source of entertainment and pleasure and re-
creation, although I enjoy as much as anyone walking about in a botani-
cal garden. Let us try also to use these assembled materials to in-
crease scientific and horticultural knowledge by the investigations of
our own staffs, by cooperation with other institutions such as muni-
cipalities, colleges and universities, or by any honorable means what-
COMMUNITY PARKS AND ARBORETA OR BOTANIC GARDENS
Walter J. Bsrrows
You are all familiar with the scope of arboreta and botanic gar-
dens, but in order to show how they contrast with the scope of the
community park, I will define them briefly. A botanic garden is a place
where a collection of growing plants is maintained for the purpose of
making progress in the knowledge of Botany, and of spreading the know-
ledge gained. An arboretum is a more specialized collection of woody
plants and trees established, in actual practice, in combination with
most botanic gardens, although they do exist separately as does the
Arnold Arboretum. While botanic gardens actually date back to the
Temple Garden at Karnak, about 1500 B.C. the present set-up of the
botanic garden stems from the private herbal gardens of the 16th Century.
From these gardens was derived the beginning of the systematic science
Parks were originally places for the preservation of deerlife,
but during the 18th Century parks began to be managed more for the sake
of conserving their landscape beauty than for the deerhunting they
offered. The park was simplicity itself; a meadow with natural clumps
or groves of trees and perhaps natural brooks or streams. The Royal
parks were the first ones to be opened to the general public, as the
need arose for places where everyday people could have outdoor recreation.
As other recreational areas, or "pleasure grounds" were established the
meaning of the word "park" changed, and has since come to mean any area
of land which has been set apart for public enjoyment. There are no
special restrictions as to the type of recreation offered, nor are there
any strict rules regarding the kind of scenery in 'the park area.
Nowadays we use some fairly descriptive terms for our parks which
give some idea of the type of activity in which they may specialize. We
use such terms as Ball Park, Amusement Park, Tot-Lot, Scenic Park, Senior
Citizens Park, Memorial Park, Roadside Rest Park, Youth Camp, Zoological
Park, Trail side Park, and so on.
Today a community park may contain many elements that contribute
to the use and purpose of parks. A community park is in actuality just
a larger unit in community living. We can expect the Martins, for in-
stance, or any family to have the seme bents in a community park as
they have in their own back yards. There is a difference though, —
the Martins hope to indulge these bents in the community park on a wider
scale than they could possibly do in their own back yard . If the home
garden were not too cramped to serve their every need, they would not
visit our parks as persistently as they do.
So as the family comes to the park, the toddlers look for a
glorified version of the lawn sprinkler, a sculptured turtle to crawl .about
in, and a sand pile that is out of this world. The kids of pre-teen ages
want a huge swimming pool with lots and lots of shallow water, ducks to
feed, bridges to cross. Teen-agers want a pool for real swimming or skin-
diving, boats for rowing, trails for hiking, and strips for dragging.
They want a place where they can do exactly what every other boy and girl
of their age is doing, but they want to be somewhat exclusive about doing
it. There is a demand for baseball fields, dance pavilions, and all the
possibilities in between.
Dads want a place to casually meet other dads, a place where
they can smoke and talk in peace and quiet; a place in which they
can companionably explore with their minds all the phases of modern
living from cars to interplanetary travel. Mom wants a clean, convenient,
flyless, shady place in which her flock can picnic comfortably. She also
wants a place where everyone else's desires — for once — are so well-met,
and so safely, that there will be no demand for her services for at least
a spell. Grandpa wants a sheltered area where he can play cards or chess
with other oldsters, but he has more fun playing when he knows that grand-
ma is having her own kind of fun not too far away.
The Park Superintendent sees the family as a community unit with
a staggering range of interests that require expression on as broad a
scale as possible. The members of the family unit are individuals, with
unlike tastes. In many instances Jim Martin will have much more in common
with Jack Buckner than with his brother Bill Martin.
Probably one of the basic uses of parks today is to provide places
where the family members may ease the irritation of constantly rubbing
elbows with each other, and the resulting tensions; places where they can
be together for a picnic and apart for the rest of the day. Apart, but
with the friendly bond of each one enjoying the same blue sky, and the
same fresh air; the same sense of freedom and seclusion, and the same
beauty. These are the same jewelled pieces which fall in a different
pattern in each person's kaleidoscope of experiences, a pattern uniouelv
fitted to him.
So the community park of today stands out in sharp contrast to the
arboretum or botanic garden. We can vizualize it as actually a community
garden, an extension of everyone's own back yard, existing for the purpose
of accommodating a diversity of interests. The botanic garden is clearly
a garden designed for the pursuit of a specialized interest.
How can our community parks serve so many conflicting ideas and
ideals at once? Only by the most careful analysis of the park site, the
most functional location of the facilities, and the adept delineation of
areas — so that the activities of one area can be carried on with as
little detriment to those of another area as possible.
Designers of community parks must realize that your next door
neighbor and mine have a yearning for beauty that is at least partially
fulfilled in the landscape of a park. A park composed of only sports
facilities and structures, hard-surfaced and covered areas, and watered
rock-dust could be a clean, neat, well-organized space. I think it would
have as much drawing attraction to the Martins as an army base has to a
private with a 3-day pass.
We have heard the plaint over the phone of the Park Department
Office so often — "We have a new park in our district, but the trees
are all so small yet... it just doesn't seem like a park; we thought
we'd ask about the kind of parks you have in Whittier." The beauty,
charm, relaxation and change of pace that people like this have a right
to expect in community parks, are largely dependent on growing plants
and the atmosphere which they create.
Today's community park must be a functional park, and we are
forced to the conclusion that one of its primary functions is to serve
beauty on a 12-acre platter of earth in such a way as to promote the
other functions which the park must also serve. Plant materials are as
necessary in a community park as in a home landscape. The Martins have
been planting and transplanting persistently from the day they moved in.
Without some further enlightenment they may continue in this doubtful
behavior until they leave the battle to the tactics of their successors
to the property. Why? Because ordinary people have a craving for a
kind of beauty which does not have to be created by the hands of a
genius using the medium of musical instruments, of oils and water-colors,
or marble and bronze. They want to create beauty from the same humble
kind of stuff to which they themselves feel akin — from simple, familiar
and comfortable landscape elements of earth, rock, water, grass and
We know that on the whole, people are not successful in their
attempts to landscape their home grounds. They continually and monoto-
nously fail to reconcile the functional and the beautiful. Mrs. Martin
lets a passion for a rosebud interfere with easy passage up the entrance
walk. Mr. Martin in his enthusiasm for his fishpond, somehow finds him-
self making a daily detour to get to the incinerator. Grandma has dis-
covered that the evergreen tree which cooled the house so nicely in
summer also makes it dank and dreary in winter. Grandpa has meanwhile
discovered that it is not so much fun raking leaves 365 days a year.
We also know that each member of the family takes himself along
wherever he goes. Mrs. Martin is every bit as fond of roses in the park
as she is at home. In the park she should be granted the privelege of
seeing roses grown naturally in a functional setting under conditions
which permit them to thrive. If the precious commodity of beauty in
the park is largely the beauty of growing plants then they must be
healthy, vigorous specimens. To serve their all important purpose the
plant materials of a park landscape must be especially suited to the
ecological components of the site. The material must emphasize, enhance,
and distinguish the various areas of activity and carry out the line and
form of the design of facilities unfailingly.
In other words, in a park area above all other areas people
should have an opportunity to observe functionalism making its peace
with graciousness, activity buzzing in an atmosphere of stability,
organization of space capturing the essence of freedom, and the separate
areas unified in a composite whole.
The park superintendent of today has a multitude of practical
problems of everyday up-keep and maintenance pressing for his attention.
He also must meet the need for the planning and development of new parks
in line with the expanded philosophy of functional park design. He must
by turns be horticulturist, entomologist, agronomist, and student of
advanced thought in play equipment philosophy and design. Meanwhile he
must keep his alert eye on city planning as a whole, and act out the
role of a human relations expert — for he is perpetually enclosed by an
eternal triangle composed of his own staff, the taxpaying public, and
other city department heads.
The park superintendent is eager to put into practice any tech-
nical advances in knowledge of practical application to his field. The
botanic garden is in an admirable situation to supply him with infor-
mation on hitherto unused species of plant materials, with recommendations
for his own area based on ecological factors as well as on color, form
and habit of the material in question. The park superintendent has a
use for material of nearly every conceivable size, shape, character,
texture and habit. As these uses will nearly approximate those to which
the plants will be put, once they are grown commercially and subsequently
sold as landscape materials, his reports on the response of the plants
should be of value to the botanic garden.
All landscape gardening should be based on a knowledge of the
growing habits of plants; without arboreta or botanic gardens we can
never hope to base our use of plant materials on constructive facts, or
know the materials that can be relied upon in given ecological conditions.
Arboreta and botanic gardens provide an opportunity to observe a specimen
plant growing under either natural or cultivated conditions, and a basis
for judging its potentialities in the park or the parkway. Many more suit-
able plants need to be made available for use in parks, materials that
would be low in maintenance costs, leaving some money in the budget for
the many other needed facilities. Many of our major maintenance problems
today, especially in arboriculture, are the result of lack of information
that could probably have been communicated from the botanic garden to
the park superintendent if a lias on had been previously established.
The number of books and periodicals purchased each year, and the
number of garden clubs throughout the nation indicate that even people
with a meager amount of free time at their disposal firmly intend to
make part of that free time go as far as possible toward creating a liv-
able functional garden. If they find helpful examples of materials in
their community parks which might be put to use in their own garden plan,
their interest will naturally spread to the botanic garden. This makes
for good public relations for a phase of national scientific advancement
that should be financed from public funds.
In our community parks the Martins must find constant encourage-
ment to fight on in the battle against dirt, disorder and the unsightli-
ness that creeps up on all sides. They must come to feel by example
that it is natural to prefer and to have a beautiful, uncluttered and
functional garden or park setting. They must have the chance to observe
identified plants growing in health and vigor, to know the conditions of
such growth — to go home and try once more, more wisely, to unify plants
and activities in the space organization that is the home garden.
The arboreta and botanic garden can help the community park to b
a more adequate backdrop for the fantastic display of versatile human
interests that must be reckoned with there; and the community park can
help the botanic garden in its long range research plans. Community
parks might be looked upon as gardens of practical horticulture. The
relationship between the community garden and the botanic garden is
one of mutual helpfulness. Their purposes, while different in some
respects, overlap in the area of public usefulness, and each in its
own way becomes concerned wherever plants are emphasized in the human
THE ROLE OF THE ARBORETUM IN COMMUNITY BEAUT IF IC AT ION
Samuel Ayres, Jr.
One of the principle reasons for the founding of the Los ^ Angeles
State and County Arboretum was a recognition of the fact that, in com-
parison with its potentialities, Southern California, especially the
metropolitan Los Angeles area, was not a beautiful community. It was
felt that if a firstclass botanic garden could be established, it would
kindle an appreciation for beauty in the plant world and would arouse
an enthusiasm for the use of more colorful plants, leading to a general
upsurge in community beautification.
Dating back to early Spanish days, exotic plants were given a
prized place in Mission gardens. From time to time individual travellers
have brought home seeds and established new plants in their gardens.
Enterprising plantsmen have introduced many new and valuable ornamentals.
Unfortunately only a fraction of these have ever found their way into
general landscape use in private gardens, around public buildings, in
parks, or along streetside plantings and have not become familiar to
the general public. Most of the large private estates which nurtured
these rare specimens had no interest in their wider distribution and
frequently look jealous pride in exclusive ownership.
With the passage of time, many of the original owners have died,
the estates have been sold or have been bulldozed into subdivisions with
the ruthless destruction of what were nothing more than weeds to be
gotten rid of, in the eyes of the subdivider. The lack of adequate
botanic garden facilities in California where plants which have been
introduced over the years could be permanently established is probably
one of the primary reasons for the lack of color and beauty in the
California scene. Old residents say that landscaping was much more
colorful in the past than it is today. This can be accounted for pro-
bably on the basis of rapid expansion of population with newcomers who
are unfamiliar with the type of plants best suited to this area, the
opening of new subdivisions, widening of streets and the building of
freeways, with the attendant destruction of many of the fine old gardens
The new home-owners, not seeing the hundreds of colorful and
beautiful plants which the oldtimers grew, and becoming homesick for
the familiar, have gone to the nurseries in search of maples, elms,
birches, pines, and other plants which they remembered from childhood.
Most nurseries, with a few notable exceptions, naturally being in-
terested in making a living and not being too concerned with educating
the public to better things, have tended to stock and advertise mer-
chandise with which the public was already familiar. Many landscape
advisers have followed a similar path of least resistance and have tended
to recommend standardized plantings within a comparatively small group
of so-called fool-proof trees and shrubs. Form, texture and design have
very properly been given adequate consideration, but color, which adds
so greatly to the joy of living, has been pushed aside.
Color belongs in our Southern California, landscape with its Spanish
background and its Mediterranean type of climate. Nearly all the rest of
the United States is automatically deprived of the possibility of achiev-
ing color except for a burst of spring bloom and a fleeting glimpse of
fall foliage; it must be satisfied with monotonous summer green and
winter white. Southern California can have an abundance of color every
month of the year, both on the ground and in trees, shrubs and vines.
In these days of technicolor and kodachrome film, color television, three-
toned automobiles, colored telephones, refrigerators and kitchen sinks,
it seems strange that planting continues to be carried out mostly in
shades of green. If all the flowering trees in Hawaii were to be de-
stroyed overnight, there would probably be a sudden drop in the tourist
business. The tales and pictures brought home by travellers of the
shower trees and royal poincianas have contributed immensely to the
glamorous appeal of the islands. While we obviously cannot grow these
particular species, we can achieve the same result with other suitable
plants. Even frost-hardy plants for the colder portions of Southern
California could include many beautiful flowering species, and for the
large areas which never experience frosts of any consequence there is
an almost unlimited number of colorful plants, including flowering trees,
from which to choose. For the average locations where temperatures might
drop to 25 degrees once in ten years, there are still numerous desirable
plants of great beauty and color.
The vicious cycle which has been set up by the loss of former color-
ful plantings, lack of a suitable botanic garden for the introduction,
conservation and distribution of new plant species, the influx of great
numbers of new residents, the indifference of many nurseries and the
preoccupation with fool-proof, standardized landscaping - this vicious
cycle has created a monotone comparable to the stereotyped planting seem
in almost any city in the country. We have been deprived of that position
of horticultural supremacy which the combination of our Spanish heritage
and our unique Mediterranean climate has made so easily possible for us.
There is probably no other climatic zone in the continental United States
where so many ornamental plants can be grown out of doors, and it is
nothing short of a tragedy that so few have actually found their way into
If the Arboretum were to become only a beautiful garden, it would
still be worth while, but it would not fully justify its existence. The
Southern California Horticultural Institute, which founded the Arboretum,
thought of it as a plant sanctuary where all of the most beautiful orna-
mental plants in the world from climatic conditions similar to those of
Southern California could be systematically introduced, planted, tested,
displayed and finally made available for the general beautification of
the entire community. By testing their growing and flowering character-
istics, their frost tolerance, their water requirements, their land-
scaping value and other features, the suitability of new plants for
general use can be determined. By displaying well grown specimens,
their beauty will attract public attention and nurseries will find it
profitable to satisfy an increasing demand for such plants.
It is probable that the Arboretum will in the future, as it has i]
the past, make available some of its surplus seeds and plants to local
park departments, to members of the California Arboretum Foundation in
return for their financial support, and by special exchange arrange-
ments to interested nurseries. By seed exchanges with other botanic
gardens throughout the world, new species of plants will continually
be added to its collection. A notable example of this effort in the
direction of civic beautification was the gift of 50 Chorisia speciosa
trees to the City of Beverly Hills for planting in the center parkway
strip of Sunset Boulevard. A number of trees of the same species were
presented to several other Southern California communities for public
planting. Four of these trees are now growing in the patio of the
Pasadena City Hall.
Another contribution to civic beautification was the testing at
the Arboretum of several species of cistus. Having determined the fire
and drought resistant qualities of these ornamental flowering shrubs
from the Mediterranean area, seeds have been propagated and given to the
County and National Forestry Services for planting along firebreaks and
on burned-over areas in our local mountains and foothills.
The enormous numbers of untried plants, many of which will un-
doubtedly prove adaptable, offer a thrilling prospect. Surely many
more of the several hundred species of erythrinas and at least a few
of the approximately fifty or more species of jacarandas which have been
described, to name but a few genera, will find our Southern California
a congenial home.
And finally, if any further arguments are necessary, such a pro-
gram would be a good business investment. Beautifully planted streets
and gardens always enhance property values. The thousands of visitors
who come here every year also deserve consideration. Many are lured
here by the glamorous advertisements of the "All-Year Club" and the
various railroads and airlines. The tourist business is still one of
Southern California's major industries, with heavy competition from many
quarters. Anything which will make our area more beautiful will encour-
age visitors to come more often, to stay longer, and to spend more money.
The world is hungry for beauty and color, and people will travel
many miles to satisfy that hunger. The throngs who visit the fast-dis-
appearing wildflower fields to see the occasional and only too brief
displays of spring color, the lines of cars which drive through "Christmas-
Tree Lane" in Altadena each winter, and the crowds who visit the giant
wistaria vine in Sierra Madre every spring are concrete and somewhat
pathetic evidence of the public's hunger for beauty.
As the years pass, the influence for good of the Arboretum on our
community life will be incalculable. As a horticultural center for plant
introduction, research, education and distribution, the Arboretum will
be able to create a veritable Garden of Eden of the Pacific.
CALIFORNIA ARBORETUM FOUNDATION
I have been asked to relate to you briefly the history of the
California Arboretum Foundation. When I look at this magnificent young
institution today I am happy that I can remember when the arboretum was
nothing more than a gleam in the eye of Dr. Samuel Ayres, Jr.
You may be interested in knowing how this all started. Along
about 1943 or '44 the Southern California Horticultural Institute used
to hold their meetings at the University Club in Los Angeles. Henry R.
Davis was President at that time and one night Dr. Ayres rose and suggest-
ed that Los Angeles County should do something about an arboretum or bo-
tanical garden. He argued that here we were in a most favored location
and there was no public place where beautiful flowering trees and plants
could be tested and seen by the thousands of garden loving people in
this area. Henry Davis agreed this was a good idea and immediately
appointed Dr. Ayres chairman of an Arboretum Committee and asked him to
investigate the matter and report.
He asked me to join him on this committee and we started looking
around for possible sites. When it fell to my lot the next year to
assume the Presidency of the Horticultural Institute I continued Dr.
Ayres as arboretum chairman and we added Mr. William Hertrich and Mr.
Howard A. Miller. The knowledge and experience of both these men were
invaluable to us.
The first property we investigated was the Will Rogers ranch on
Sunset Boulevard. We soon found however, that much of this land had a
very thin soil cover over a shale formation and therefore we abandoned
About that time Charles Hastings died and his 900 odd acre ranch
running from Foothill Boulevard up to the 1800 foot level in the moun-
tains between Pasadena, Arcadia and Sierra Madre became available.
Hastings' executor, Mr. Crawford May offered it to us for
'1,000,000, and we actually flirted with the idea of buying it, but the
million dollars was completely out of our reach. When you look at the
development which has taken place on this property today one wonders
whether if we had been able to buy it we might not now have a handsome
endowment as well as an arboretum. However, I for one have no regrets
that we did not get it.
Our next attempt was an approach to the Trustees of the Henry E.
Huntington Library and Art Gallery. By this time we had Mr. Manfred
Meyberg and Mr. Roy F. Wilcox working with us and although we tried
real hard to convince the Huntington Trustees that they should make
available a part of their unused acreage for an arboretum we were un-
able to persuade them to our point of view.
Most of us were discouraged after this refusal, but not Dr. Ayres.
He feegan talking with Mr. John Anson Ford and around this time he made
contact with Mr. Wesley Davies who suggested we consider the "Lucky"
Baldwin ranch surrounding the Lagoon, the Hugo Reid adobe, the Queen Anne
Cottage, and Coach Barn.
When Dr. Ayres first brought this to my attention it sounded won-
derful, but I hardly dared hope it would ever come to pass. And I can
assure all of you here today that it never would have been realized if
it had not been for Mr. John Anson Ford and his colleagues on the Board
of Supervisors of Los Angeles County. It wqs their breadth of vision
and their willingness to heed our arguments for the need for this great
institution that makes it possible for us to be here today.
I realize this is not really a history of the California Arboretum
Foundation, because the Foundation was organized in 1948 after this pro-
perty was acquired with funds supplied by Los Angeles County and the State
of California. However, it may serve to put on record the early activities
without which there might never have been an arboretum.
One more tribute and I'm through. It would be most ungrateful if
I did not acknowledge the fine public spirited attitude of the Chandler
family interests in making it possible for us to dedicate this land to
the public use. There is no doubt in my mind that this property could
have been sold for many times the price at which the County and State
WHY WE HAVE AN ARBORETUM
Chairman and Friends of the Arboretum:
I feel deeply honored to have been invited to participate in this
very exciting dedication ceremony. In reminding me of the Mayo Mural,
which the Chairman just mentioned, one of the most interesting parts of
that assignment was to depict the great discoveries by man for the benefit
of man. I was most excited when I found our philosophers, our historians,
our anthropologists nearly all agreed on the idea, that when man discovered
the function of the seas, it was the most important first basic discovery
of man. It was through the ability of man to control the source of food
supplies that he stabilized his living, he no linger wandered over the
earth to find subsistence. He could finddgood earth, plant the seeds
that he knew gave him the most return in food value and thus changed
the entire character of man from swinging from tree to tree and living
from day to day.
It seems to me that maybbeaallongj j-umpttowtoherewwe are today. We
are not searching primarily for food, but are in the midst of a dynamic
power which is the tremendous growth of America as a world power, as a
world influence. It seems to me that we must take stock, to a degree,
of where we are going with that power and that kind of control. With-
out doubt this is the most exciting and stimulating moment in the history
of man. No other generation has ever dreamed of the changes that have
taken place during your life time and mine. All aspects of life have
been challenged and the shock to our bodies, to our spirit and to our in-
tellect is so tremendous that certainly no other generation has faced the
changes to the degree that we now face them.
I think it is quite obvious that a good society, in order to sur-
vive in the midst of such change where every institution, religion, where
every activity of man is being challenged on every front must search for
a balance, a balance to our material control. The fact that we have been
able to raise the standard of living in America beyond that of any country
previously or presently known to man, is a proof of the vitality, the
courage, the insight of the people who have built this great country.
The impact of the modern sciences on our world in the past 50
years is still too close for us to realize the importance and its effects
on our own chemistry. There is very little known yet even about man as
a total being. We are still studying the parts of man to explain some
of our present problems. We know more now about his physical self than
we ever have. We are certainly learning rapidly about the necessity of
understanding his mental apparatus and we are trying to keep pace with
his spiritual developments. I doubt very much, however, if we have
kept in real balance in this respect. What can we do in a society that
moves as fast and so much from place to place as ours. We must develop
this spiritual understanding and insight, which is so deeply needed, if
we are to survive and to maintain the material control of our society.
We need a cultural growth comparable to the other material growths
mentioned. To sum up the cultural growth in one simple statement: The
languages of the spirit and of the heart. I think that all of the arts,
and many facets of science, which are devoted to study of the good of
this spirit, such as the Arboretum, are essential if we are to keep our
balance. If one developes the cultural balance, the insight from the
point of view of the heart developes our other growth; then we have
a community that grows with character, with feeling, with the love of
It is through both the arts and sciences that we grow to under-
stand nature. The principles of life and the meaning inherited in
everything of nature will be apparent if we pause to listen, look, and
have a perceptive quality that is deep in us. How do we develop this
perceptive quality? Is it something that we do by merely casually look-
ing at it? No. We have to work at it in the same way that we have
worked so hard to control the physical and material side of our kind
of society. It is essential that we learn to speak some of these
languages, to learn the possibilities of expression and feeling andmdis-
covery that lie within each of us. Each art language and each science
language has the power to open whole areas of understanding to us which
are otherwise unobtainable. It is only through each art, and through
each science, that we learn to communicate whole areas of human under-
standing that are otherwise blocked off. It is impossible to substitute
one for the other. Music, architecture painting, sculpture or the science
of botany, these are languages which the more we know about them the more
we understand and, the more amazing and exciting the world becomes, be-
cause the areas that we hadn't known about now give us so much in return
to the spirit and to the heart.
Now, the question: "Why have an Arboretum?". It seems to me it
is very simple. There are probably much better explanations, scienti-
fically and otherwise, than the ones that I shall give. It seems to me,
however, that the first basic reason is to provide the means by which
we can search for adaptable beauty and resources for our present day
living. Plants can be brought from all over the world and tested here
in a great public experimental station where they are given the kind of
care that one must give some of these plants, in order to find out if
they can survive under our conditions. We will then find out they can
live and can be used both in our own homes and in our gardens, and in
the larger sense in our public parks and landscaping, for our streets,
and all of the other phases that have to do with the beauty that sur-
rounds us, as well as applications in every phase of agricultural
development. I think in addition to being a great research station,
one will find in the Arboretum itself as it grows and develops for
generations to come, a kind of sanctuary where the individual can go and
discover his own mind. We are living under such pressure that it is
hard to find a silent place. We need such sanctuaries.
I thought if I could say one thing as a taxpayer like everyone
else, it would be that I am deeply grateful for the wisdom of the many
officials and private men and women who have visualized and supported this
very important contribution to our community. To them I for one am deeply
grateful. Thank you.